Tidying gardens in Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City, Knebworth & surrounding villages.
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Saturday, 1 September 2012

Attack of the Aphids

According to the RHS website, the Lupin Aphid was first detected in the UK in 1981.
The Lupin Aphid has officially been detected in the Tidy Garden summer 2012.
Apparently it's a member of the Green / Blackfly family & has a penchant for lupins, in this case OUR lupins.
 We have tried to be organic in our approach to removing these sap-sucking menaces, using a fatty-acid based spray but they seem to enjoy this method like a cool shower on a hot day.
We've tried the removal by hand method (when I say 'hand', I mean that of Mr TG...way too ugly a job for a girl!). He's tried squishing them with a tissue up the stem, burning said tissue afterwards but within 24 hours they're back, bigger, hungrier than ever and in greater numbers.
We've tried bashing them with the bug killer spray bottle in desperation.
Ladybird luring methods haven't worked either, nothing seems even the slightest bit interested in them and in a way I can understand that. They're huge at 4mm long with juicy fat bodies.
May have to consider a less organic, garden-friendly approach in the future...Rottweiler anyone?
What is a joy to see in the Tidy Garden is this years froglets emerging from the pond. At only double the size of an aphid he has more charm already. Have only seen 2 so far, considering the amount of spawn but I guess that's natures way.
Even more beautiful are the gorgeous flowers I've managed to pick from the garden...Cosmos, Marigolds, Antirrhinums, Sweet peas & Rudbeckias, bug-free and blooming lovely! 


Ali said...

Eugh, not coming here any more if you are showing horror pics - lol but loving the last picture - aah pretty flowers xx

sharon said...

dont ladybugs eat them??? and they are so cute too

Unknown said...

Yuk, very good pics but I might not be able to go near a lupin again!

HELENE said...

Ugh, they do look different from the normal greenflies on my roses...have you tried Pireco greenfly repellent? It is made of soy oil and herbs, it is taken up by the leaves and makes the leaves and flowers taste and smell bad to the insects. The stay away for up to 6 weeks, it really works, I use it on many of my plants, all the roses included. You can order it from Bakker.co.uk.
Loved the froglet, shame they don't eat greenflies!

Indie said...

You have BUGS in your tidy garden? ;)

I use the water-jet method for my aphids. Blast those suckers off! (Which works, as long as you do it every single day...) Thankfully I was saved by some lacewings, and now I have finally seen some ladybugs in the garden. About time!

Good luck in the battle!

Bethany Benton Art said...

Hi Jane,

What horrid, monstrous aphids! May the force be with you the rid your lovely garden of them. However, the froglet is rather cute, and your your colorful bouquet is just beautiful. I'm sure it brightens the whole room.

All the best! :-)

Mark Willis said...

Ladybirds do eat aphids - but nowhere near enough of them! Having tried all the "organic" methods to get rid of aphids I conclude that only the commercial chemical ones work.

Crystal said...

As far as I know, the only organic method of dealing with lupin aphids, is not to grow lupins. You really didn't want to hear that, did you ? Sorry.

HolleyGarden said...

Those are some monster aphids! I think the lupin aphids are different than the other kind. Maybe they taste bad to the ladybugs, too! ;) Good luck with them! I think Crystal may be right. :(

Reed Pugh said...

I do enjoy the physical removal and squishing of aphids. Do it religiously for a few days in a row to collapse the population.

Alistair said...

Aphids especially designed to destroy Lupins, now thats just downright nasty Jane. Bring back DDT. joking

Casa Mariposa said...

Those are huge aphids! I'm surprised you don't have a predator bug munching away on them. I had to pull up all my azaleas several years to get rid of the mites they were infested with. I squish aphids with a tissue. It's gross but the payoff is worth it.

Elizabeth said...

Hi Jane, these are exactly the same nasty wee beasties that lunched and munched on my lovely lupins - I remember the year well, 1997. That was when we lived in the High Peak, Derbyshire. The lupin aphid is like no other - monsters of the aphid world. Sadly, in defeat, I pulled up my lupin plants and burned them :( Elizabeth xx

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